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Rwandan army pursues rebels into DR Congo

Latest update : 2009-01-21

In a joint operation with the Congolese army on Tuesday, up to 1,500 Rwandan soldiers crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu region in pursuit of defiant Rwandan Hutu rebels.

AFP - Rwandan soldiers on Tuesday entered the Democratic Republic of Congo in a joint operation with Congolese troops to hunt down Rwandan Hutu fighters operating there, military officials said.

Between 800 and 1,500 Rwandan soldiers crossed into the east of the country, 35 kilometres (20 miles) north of Goma, the capital of Nord-Kivu region as part of an operation agreed between the two countries in December.

The aim was to defeat Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). They include some fighters who took part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide before fleeing to DR Congo.

On Friday a dozen dissident commanders of rebel chief Laurent Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), under general Bosco Ntaganda, declared that the war against Congolese government troops was over.

They also said they would join the Congolese and Rwandan government forces in their fight against the FDLR Rwandan Hutu rebels.

Several Congolese militia leaders, in the Mai-Mai, the Congolese Resistance Patriots (Pareco) movement have also joined fight against the FDLR.

The Rwandan forces were poised to march on Rutshuru, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Goma, where Nkunda is believed to be.

Nkunda has not commented on the end of the war announced by the dissidents.

Date created : 2009-01-20